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Month

June 2014

Cat Cafés Offer Coffee With a Side of Kitties by Samantha Drake

 This is a Reblog from

pet360
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Cat Cafés Offer Coffee With a Side of Kitties
Reblogged from Pet360.com

If cat lovers could design their own heaven it would mostly likely have a least one cat café—a quiet retreat where warm beverages and sweet treats are in plentiful supply and a variety of affectionate cats roam about, graciously accepting your attention.The cat café concept is a reality in many parts of the world. At these kitty havens, patrons can relax with a beverage and a snack while watching and interacting with the cat café’s feline residents. The concept is very popular in Asia and is catching on in Europe as well. CNN reports that Japan has approximately 150 cat cafes, more than anywhere else in the world.

Paris, London, Munich, Vienna, Budapest, Madrid, and Dubai also have their own cat cafes. Melbourne, Australia, is set to welcome its first cat café soon. And while the United States is lagging behind a bit, it could catch up to the cat café craze very soon.

Pop-Up Café

The first cat café in the United States was a limited venture that opened in New York in April. Sponsored by Purina One, the pop-up cat café was open for four days. It was intended to raise awareness about pet health and show people what healthy, happy cats look like, explains Niky Roberts, a spokesperson for Purina One.

The cat food company partnered with the North Shore Animal League America, a rescue group that provided 35 adoptable cats for visitors to meet and interact with at the café. The good news is that all 35 kitties have been adopted, either during or after the event, says Roberts. In addition to cappuccino and baked goods, the event featured speakers throughout the four days including a veterinarian, cat behaviorist and a pet shelter director.  “We had a great experience,” says Roberts.

Because the cat café was an event and not a long-term business, the biggest challenge for Purina One, notes Roberts, was working out the logistics of being the first in the U.S. to bring kitties and a café atmosphere together.

Long-term establishments for felines and those who love them may follow. In North America, the promise of cat cafes in cities including Boston and Toronto has generated a lot of press, but so far few are close to opening.

Vive Montreal

However, a Quebec cat lover is preparing to open Café Chat L’Heureux in Montreal as early as this summer. Clement Marty, the owner of Café Chat L’Heureux, says he became intrigued by the cat cafés he saw on his travels around the world. He decided to launch his own cat café in Montreal to educate the public on how to properly care for cats while providing a resource for cat lovers who can’t have a pet of their own. An Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is providing the start-up capital, says Marty.

The café will have eight to 12 cats in residence, an optimal number for the space that takes into account cats’ territorial needs, he explains. “The cats will come from different shelters in Montreal, with each one a sort of ambassador for the shelter,” says Marty.

Location, Location

In San Francisco, all software developer David Braginsky and entrepreneur Courtney Hatt need to do is find the right space for their cat café, to be called KitTea.

KitTea will be be a “cageless adoption center” where visitors can spend quality time with the resident cats and also have a cup of tea and something to eat, explains Braginsky. Local regulations require that the two functions be strictly separate, so the food prep area will be in a completely different space than the cats’ area, says Braginsky. Local cat shelters will provide adoptable cats with the right personalities for the environment.

“A cat café seems like a valuable thing to have in the city,” notes Braginsky. He expects a lot of interest in KitTea because San Francisco is home to lot of people who live in apartments that don’t allow pets or live with roommates who don’t want cats.

The real estate search has been difficult, Braginsky says, because he and Hatt want KitTea to be located in a neighborhood that caters to residents, not tourists. Rent and renovation costs are also important considerations. A crowdfunding campaign is powering the launch of KitTea, but private investors are also needed, he adds.

Britannia Rules

Braginsky says he was inspired by London’s very successful cat café Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, where kitties with names like Artemis and Carbonelle lounge around soaking up the attention. Lady Dinah’s is so popular that the establishment is booked solid through October 2014.

The British cat café set ground rules that eliminate many concerns surrounding a venture that combines cats and the public. First, Lady Dinah’s has a booking system that permits only a limited number of people in the space at one time. It also has a small cover charge. The establishment has banned children under the age of 8 to eliminate concerns about what very young children might do to the cats.

As for allergies, Lady Dinah’s states on its website that staff are able to provide only basic first-aid attention in the event of an allergic reaction.

The cat café phenomenon doesn’t appear to be slowing down, and it will be exciting to see where these fun feline locations open next.

Photo credit: Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium via Facebook

Fund Raiser For St. Jude’s Hospital – 100 Copies Available!

marrow
Click to go to the LinkedIn page for Sabine’s giveaway.

St. Jude’s Hospital Fundraiser!

A limited edition art book put together for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, September 2013, containing the poems “Mrs. Albuninah”, “Memory Fractured”, and “Marrow”. Dedicated to Kyle Dean Smith, August 27, 1998 – August 1, 2010, and every child who has had, currently has, or will ever have cancer. 100% of the proceeds go to St. Jude’s Hospital to fund research to find cures for childhood cancers. Each copy is hand numbered. There will be only 100 copies. Books are available for sale on Ebay.

sabne
Click for Sabne’s Facebook Page

About the Author:

Internationally published poet, writer, book reviewer, photographer, guest blogger, songwriter. and sketch artist. See bio for links around the web.

Biography

Sabne Raznik is an internationally published poet, writer, book reviewer, photographer, guest blogger, singer/songwriter, and sketch artist with two poetry collections – full length “Following Hope” and art book “Marrow”.

Through the Eyes of a Himba Child

Blog Tour, REVIEW & #Giveaway – THE GOLDEN CAGE #fantasy novella by Kaitlyn Davis

deborahjay

goldencage (1)

Tour Page & Schedule

The Golden Cage Cover
The Golden Cage (A Dance of Dragons #0.5) by Kaitlyn Davis

Description:

From bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis comes a fantasy adventure perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Graceling, and Game of Thrones.


In the land of Ourthuro, cruelty is a way of life. The king rules with an iron fist and no one dare defy him–no one except his daughter. Princess Leena is keeping a dangerous secret, she has fallen in love with a soldier and it would mean both of their lives if her father ever discovered their affair.

But Leena will risk it all to be with the man she loves–her heart, her life, her freedom. And when her brother’s birthday celebration takes a dangerous turn, Leena is forced to make a decision that will change the fate of her nation and eventually the world.

The Golden Cage is a prequel novella…

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Berman’s Wolves Review!!

Now this is a bit more interesting in the “Werewolf” genre. These poor college kids are turned into wolves in a government experiment . . .

Happy Tails and Tales Blog

Hello everyone! Today I have a little something special for you! I owed a review for this one 🙂 I have been behind on reviews and this one is too good not to show you!! The original post for this book is HERE

Berman’s Wolves
Gretchen SB
 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
 
When a scientist runs an experiment on three separate college campuses that goes horribly wrong, several hundred students find their lives altered forever. They must learn to adapt to their new lives as Werewolves. Immediately after the incident a government program was put in place to keep track of these unwitting subjects. After a year the program falls apart as those in charge argue on how to proceed.
Without the programmers constantly looking over their shoulders the werewolves have now started to organize themselves. Creating their own hierarchy and alliances.
 
Jack is the Alpha of Pacific…

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Review: Julia’s Chocolates by Cathy Lamb – 10-Star Review

julia
Highly Recommended!!!!

I left my wedding dress hanging in a tree somewhere in North Dakota.

I don’t know why that particular tree appealed to me. Perhaps it was because it looked as if it had given up and died years ago and was still standing because it didn’t know what else to do.

That is, by far, one of my favorite opening lines to a Contemporary Women’s Literature book ever. And then I read the book. And it touched me, ripped my heart, soothed my mind and eased my soul in so many ways that one moment I was laughing hysterically at the antics of the four main female characters, the next sobbing uncontrollably over the pain and fear that women and children face – the innocent and the damned.

Growing up unloved and neglected is horrific. Not only because your parent doesn’t love you, but because you know your parent doesn’t want your love. You learn that your love is inferior. Unneeded. Worthless. You’re inferior, you’re unneeded, you’re worthless.

I grew up as the child of a sociopath. I know from growing up unloved, unneeded, being told every day I was worthless. How awful is it that Julia’s life make my own look like a walk in the park with ice cream and flowers? The daughter of an alcoholic meth head, Julia spent her early life beaten, neglected, starved and repeatedly raped and abused by her mother’s “boyfriends,” a collection of alcoholic, meth head pedophiles and violent criminals.

But Julia perseveres, gaining her degree in art and working in a gallery in Boston, pulling her life together and trying desperately to forget from whence she came. Desperate to feel ‘worthy’ she accepts the advances of the wealthy, entitled Robert Stanfield, the latest scion of a wealthy Boston family. At first thrilled to gain the attention of such a man, she soon learns the truth. Robert is a true psychopath – a vicious and abusive rapist who slowly comes to swallow up Julia’s life, pushing her into a cycle of fear and abuse that soon drains the very soul from her body. Blaming herself for what he does to her, as victims do, she takes his abuse, hoping that he will change, that things will get better, that she really can look forward to a good life with this monster. But finally, on her wedding day, with her face broken and eye swollen completely shut, she flees the monster that is her fiancé and takes off across country to her aunt in Golden, Oregon. Like Julia, the town itself is broken by the closing of the mills and factories, leaving the citizens who stay impoverished but still proud. Still rallying around one another. None so much as four very special friends.

Gaining the safety of her Aunt Lydia and her friends in Golden, Julia soon settles in. Though she still has violent, terrifying nightmares, and fears she suffers a “Dread Disease” that causes her to have attacks which leave her breathless and exhausted, she slowly begins to feel safe in the company of Lydia and Caroline, Lara and Katie, a diverse group of women with their own issues and agonies, laughter and pain. Caroline, tiny and poor, living off vegetable sales and psychic readings. Lara, wife of the town minister whom she adores, but who is over stressed and underappreciated, the daughter of a cruel and arrogant minister who preaches hellfire and damnation to all who don’t bow down before his wrath – including his own tormented children. And Katie, who runs her own cleaning business and raises her four children while her useless, abusive drunk of a husband steals her money, terrorizes her children and steps out with other women to her face. Together, they make up a band of some of the strongest, most eccentric, most lovable characters I have ever “met.” As others have said, you can certainly compare the book in many ways to The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. However, in my mind this book is much more. These women have come together from diverse backgrounds, meeting at stages of their life where they are each fighting their own personal battles of the soul.

But don’t let me lead you to believe that this is a “Debbie Downer” of a book – not at all. As I mentioned earlier, I literally laughed till tears ran down my cheeks at the antics of these women and their friends. Who can’t get a kick out of “Breast Power Psychic Night?” And while as a whole they may not have any reason to hold any affection for men (well, except for Lydia, who has been courted by the same man for the last twenty years) there are some wonderful male characters to offset the true monsters of the tale. Yes, there is horror to be had by the boatloads. Sanctimonious ‘church ladies’ with spiteful, viperous tongues, filled with gossip and sanctimony. Cruel drunks. Child abusers, alcoholics, drug addicts and pedophiles. All make their appearances, and affect the lives of our beloved ladies. But Lamb uses a deft hand in her development of the friendships of this little band of women into something that brings not only joy and laughter, but also a bright light of hope into some very dark places. There are dark moments – but the bright soon overcomes the dark, pulling these wonderful characters together into a book that no one, even the testosterone powered, should miss.

I. Loved. This. Book. I really did. It hurt sometimes – I have a lot in common with these women, and truly felt their pain, down deep where I have packed away my own. I pulled these people into my heart, and though it did hurt in spots, it also made me feel wonderful to meet this rowdy, broken bunch of women. I was interesting to me that other reviewers “didn’t connect” with the characters. I suppose they should be happy that they didn’t – anyone who has no experience with how truly horrific life can be at times should thank their lucky stars that this is so I suppose. As I watched Julia, with her huge boobs, wild hair, and horrific background grow into her personal power I urged her on, watching with great happiness as she opened herself up to not only her own faults, but to her power as well. As for me, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. There is great love and joy to be found – the love of self, of friends, of children and of life itself. I came to Ms. Lamb’s work late (this book was originally published in 2007) but now that I have found her work, I will be looking forward to reading more!

Blog tour & #Giveaway – KUNDALIS STORM DRAGON by Frances Pauli #fantasy

Deborah has this on her blog today, and it sounds fabulous!

deborahjay

Title: Storm Dragon
Series: Kundalis
Author: Frances Pauli
Publisher: Zharmae
Release Date: June 19, 2014
Genre: NA, Urban Fantasy


Blurb:Karin knows she’s gone completely insane—nuts—absolutely batshit crazy, when she spots an insidious blue dragon twining through the trees at a rest stop in the Cascade Mountains. Despite agreeing to join her roommate at a psychic fair, she’s never believed in anything metaphysical. She’s pretty sure the Reiki treatment she succumbed to has brought on a frighteningly realistic hallucination—until they roll their mini-van in the middle of I-90, and she is rescued from the vehicle by the same monstrous blue figment of her imagination.


She awakens to find that she’s been delivered to a cabin high in the mountains instead of to a proper hospital. The “doctor” looking out for her is more of a new-ager than a physician, and the people who own the house, including the urban highlander…

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Review: Hideaway Cover: A Windfall Island Novel by Anna Sullivan

windfallWhen I was asked by Hachette Book Group to review Anna Sullivan’s Hideaway Cove: A Windfall Island Novel, I wanted to do it for a couple of reasons. First, the whole Hachette v. Amazon thing I find to be incredibly irritating as Amazon puffs itself up and tries to take over control of ideas, attempting to place a stranglehold on e-book distribution. That really ticks me off, and Hachette gets my support for the stand they are taking against the huge gorilla in the room that Amazon has turned into.

The second, of course, is the fact that the concept of the book was interesting, as a young single mother, Jessica Randal, attempts to save her son Benjamin, Benji for short, from the attacks that have occurred against the citizens of Windfall Island which leave her son in grave danger. Of course, as this is mostly a romance, there is the tall, handsome stranger, Holden “Hold” Abbot, who is in town working on a genealogy project that could answer all the questions, as well as putting Benji and his mother in grave danger.

I liked that there was a sharp edge of suspense in the book, which brings it up above the common and garden ‘met the guy, bang the guy, marry the guy’ trope. Both Hold and Jessi have their trust issues, falling over each other in their attempt to protect themselves from any more emotional damage. And of course, Jessi is determined to protect her son – sometimes to a fault. As the book moves further along, the action and aforementioned suspense ratchet up to a razor’s edge, keeping me reading to the end.

The opposite side of the coin is that this is, as I figured out by the end of the first chapter, the second in a new series for Anna Sullivan, which caused me to be lost for, literally, the whole first half of the book. The slanting references to happenings in the past are utilized with no clarification, which was massively confusing and irritating as well. There are a lot of series out there that you can pick up at any point and get a concise update on what is going on, from the view of the previous book(s), in such a manner as to bring you into the ‘loop’ of the story without rehashing the whole series. This book doesn’t give you any guidelines. Instead, we are apparently supposed to have read the first book in order to understand what is going on in this one. That fact, to be honest, would have kept me from finishing the book once I had gotten into the third chapter and still couldn’t figure out what was going on. However, as this was a requested read, I stuck it out, though I admit to skimming through a major portion of the book. It simply couldn’t hold my attention because I was so lost. Who was Eugenie, why was someone trying to kill any great grandchildren she may or may not have still living, or was it grandchildren of this Eugenie or just what the heck was going on anyway? The prolog gave you a happening in 1931 or so that I suppose was supposed to give you all the clues you needed, but the fact that there was no modern day clarification meant the questions were annoying and kept me from enjoying the book as much as I could have.

Overall, if you are willing to purchase the previous book, Temptation Bay, you will be much better equipped to pick up this volume of the series and actually enjoy it from the beginning. The blurb for the book is rather disingenuous as well, as the book is much more about Jessica and her relationship with her son and the lengths she will go to in order to protect him rather than simply about the ‘love interest’ Holden getting what he wants. The HEA is there, of course, and I suppose the blurb will pull in “strictly romance” readers, but if you are fond of a suspense with a strong thread of romance versus the opposite, this may be a series you will want to give a read. From the first book, of course.

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I received this book from the Forever (Grand Central Publishing) arm of Hachette Books. All opinions are my own and are not based on my receipt of the book from the publishers.

Wicked Women Writers Challenge 2014

Who is your favorite “Wicked Woman” for 2014?

HorrorAddicts.net

www9801202014 Wicked Women Writer Challenge – 

Welcome to the 6th annual Wicked Women Writers Challenge
Hosted by HorrorAddicts.net

The audio for these stories will post by Saturday June 28th. The text versions will run June 29th-July 3rd. Subscribe to this blog so we can alert you with they post.

Beauty and

the Beast

WWW2014promo

Premise: There is something both fearsome and attractive in a wild thing, be it man or beast. From creature legends told around ancient campfires, to modern tales of King Kong and cryptozoology, critters have always captured our darkest imagination. Five finalists have created stories based on this premise and with challenges that were randomly selected. Each challenger received: 1. Location 2. Blessing – Helpful Item 3. Curse – An untimely disability 4. Beast

Your task as a listener is to listen to each story (or read it on the blog) and then vote for who you…

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